Reconditioning mare.. proper training schedule

Discussion in 'Driving Miniature Horses' started by acresaway, Jan 25, 2013.

Help Support Miniature Horse Talk by donating:

  1. Jan 25, 2013 #1

    acresaway

    acresaway

    acresaway

    Member

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2013
    Messages:
    13
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    NJ
    Hello All,

    I am new to the forum and new to miniatures but not to horses in general. I have been around horses for most of my life and currently manage a large farm and the lesson program and boarders and all the drama that comes with it hahaha. I acquired a mini mare several months ago and I must say I LOVE her. I am in love with breed as I always have been and I guess I really just love their size. I guess when theyre 'fun sized' they are as so much more manageable in so many ways!! I am 6 feet tall almost and I have moved from horses down to my mustang ponies and now down the miniatures! The smaller the better!

    The mare I acquired knows how to drive... she was novice champion at the local shows a year or so ago... I have since learned to drive (will be taking lessons soon so I will be confident in showing. I tore a ligament in my ankle so no riding for several months any way so might as well improve my driving) and was wondering how to get my mare back in shape. I am planning early... as I will not start reconditioning her until warmer weather but was wondering what a general program was. She is I believe just shy of 38" tall and we drive a beautiful wooden meadowbrook cart with a proper fitting harness.

    Her muscle has turned to flab. Or jello really.

    I would like to get her in shape enough so I can show her in late spring/early summer as well as taking her out to driving trails at the local parks, etc

    Thank you,

    Dawn
     
    ksoomekh likes this.
  2. Jan 26, 2013 #2

    susanne

    susanne

    susanne

    dB

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2002
    Messages:
    5,280
    Likes Received:
    305
    Location:
    To your left
    Sounds like you're crossing over to the dark side...glad you've joined us!

    Here is one program, written by Linda Willis, that appeared on the Mini Horse CDE site. That site is no longer up, so instead of linking to it, I'll post it here. Whether or not you have any plans for combined driving, and whether or not it fits your timeline, this is a gentle consistent program that can be adapted to suit your needs and your horse's fitness.

    CDE PREPARATIONS & CONDITIONING SCHEDULE

    Linda Willis

    I begin planning my competitive schedule as soon as the Winter Edition of the ADS Omnibus arrives, usually in December for the January to June competitions. For those events who advertise VSE divisions, I measure the driving (truck) distance using the computer mapping programs and select those which I will attend. I also make it a point at this juncture to contact the organizers of any reasonably close events without VSE divisions in the hope that they might consider adapting their venue to our needs. I’m not always successful, but this at least gives the organizing committee the maximum allowable time to consider my proposal and accomplish needed work if they are willing.

    I like to allocate a new calendar solely to my horse activities on which I enter my competition and conditioning schedule, opening/closing dates for entries, worming dates, immunization schedules, Coggins Tests and farrier/equine dental appointments. It’s important that everything be accomplished on time but cause minimal disruption to your training schedule once it begins.

    I also start a three-ring binder in which I organize all of the paperwork for the year’s competitions. I start by making multiple copies of each of the following documents: my ADS membership card, Coggins results, and the ADS entry/waiver/disclaimer forms needed to initiate an entry to a recognized competition. These copies are then slid into plastic sheet protectors placed in the binder. I create a section for each planned competition beginning with a photocopy of the Omnibus page for that event on which the opening date for entries has been highlighted. As I complete and mail entries, I make and file copies of the completed entry forms, checks, mailing envelopes accompanied by a list of all enclosures (Coggins/ADS Cards, etc.) in the binder section for that event. I also make hotel reservations via the Internet (the prices are often cheaper than those published in the Omnibus) and print copies of my reservation information and confirmation numbers for the binder. This method of organization keeps everything in one place and has served to prevent my forgetting things. I carry it with me in the truck I use to haul to competitions. I can then refer to my copies in case there is a problem with my entry or lodging and I know whether I have paid for or need to bring bedding and how many tickets I bought for the competitor’s parties/dinners, etc.

    Next I study the marathon information for the events I have chosen to enter. The Omnibus generally gives the distance and terrain and may give additional clues about things like the potential to encounter wildlife or livestock, bridges or water crossings on the marathon course. I study this information very carefully and plan to introduce potentially scary things at home. My work area has, at times, been adorned with flags, umbrellas, plastic plates, an “X” spray painted on the ground and anything else I think might frighten my horse. I have also trailered him out to other locations just to practice crossing water or a bridge. I am also mindful of the organizer’s description of terrain so that I can incorporate similar conditions into my preparation. Steep grades and/or deep footing can really challenge a small horse and should be woven into the training program gradually to avoid later injury or undue stress. Over the course of the conditioning period I find out everything I can about the venues at which I will be competing and mimic expected conditions to the greatest possible extent at home where my horse is most secure and comfortable.

    Just prior to the onset of my conditioning program I make it a point to attend to the horse’s feet, teeth and coat. A shaggy-haired yak just in from the pasture usually benefits from a trace clip to facilitate cooling during forthcoming workouts yet maintain the animal’s warmth during turn-out. I ensure that I have an assortment of well-fitting sheets, blanket and coolers in case they are needed for transport or cool-down in the coming weeks. I like to have the annual Coggins Tests done in January or February so that results are available to be mailed with early entries for April competitions.

    I plan on a minimum of 8 weeks to properly condition for my first CDE. If my review of advertised marathon information shows an expected distance of 5-6 kilometers, I figure that my horse needs to be ready for 30-35 minutes of continuous trotting by the date of my first competition. This is calculated by multiplying the number of kilometers by 6 minutes 40 seconds (the time it takes to trot 1 kilometer @ the speed of 9 kph required for VSE’s). I use the following chart as a general guide. The practice exercises incorporate all of the movements found in Training and Preliminary Dressage Tests in order of ascending difficulty. I think of dressage as “body building for horses”.

    Week One

    20 minute sessions

    Walk

    W/T transitions, square halts, bending in corners, serpentine, straightness on centerline and long sides of arena, stretching down at the free walk.

    Week Two

    30 minute sessions

    Primarily walk with brief periods of trot. I let the horse’s condition guide me. I don’t want him frustrated, sweating or sore the next day this early in the season.

    Introduce mild grades at the walk and encourage the horse to enjoy his work. Establish a vocabulary of voice commands and stick with them from here on.

    Week Three

    35 minute sessions

    Primarily walk with two 5 minute trot intervals.

    Begin to execute serpentines, 30/40 meter circles, reinforce W/T transitions & square halts. Set up a few cones for fun.

    Week Four

    35-40 minute sessions

    Increase trot intervals to 2 for 10 minutes each.

    Continue to practice bending exercises, introduce 20m circles. Set up a hazard and trot calmly around and through with emphasis on accuracy NOT SPEED.

    Week Five

    45 minute sessions

    Increase trot intervals to 2 for 15 minutes @. Start to ask for lengthening at the trot. Introduce short bursts of canter.

    Find some hills and walk up and down several times each week from here on out. Practice square halts from walk and trot. Continue relaxed trot work through cones and hazards.

    Week Six

    50 minute sessions

    Incorporate all gaits. Work on transitions between working//lengthened and free walk. Start working on the reinback. Increase the trot interval to 20-25 minutes at least once each session.

    Trot some small hills up and down. Introduce a bit more speed in hazards/cones. Add the 10m half circle to the bending exercises.

    Week Seven

    55 minute sessions

    At least 30 continuous minutes of trot work 2-3 times this week. More hill work at all gaits. I measure out 1k and time it several times to ensure that I have established a 9 kph trot speed.

    Practice segments of actual dressage tests. Use four cones to practice accurate circles.

    Week Eight

    60 minute sessions

    Trot work to 35 minutes 2-3 times this week.

    Walk (without horse) the dressage test I will be doing at the first event. Break the test apart and practice its elements. Focus on a good free walk – its score is doubled.

    General Principles/Hints

    1. Make it fun.

    2. Start/end each session with a relaxed walk, especially in temperature extremes. This goes a long way in preventing injury.

    3. Practice in the rain….you’ll likely have to compete in it.

    4. Work out the bugs in your equipment at home.

    5. Make a packing list and use it each time you trailer out.

    6. Gather a second set of tools, grooming supplies and first aid items for your trailer and keep them there for the season.

    7. Keep yourself fit too! There’s a lot of walking involved in this sport!

    8. Have someone videotape you from time to time so you can see the progress you and your horse are making.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 26, 2013
    hobbyhorse23 and targetsmom like this.
  3. Jan 26, 2013 #3

    happy appy

    happy appy

    happy appy

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2010
    Messages:
    1,445
    Likes Received:
    217
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    Thanks for posting that article. IT is very informative!
     
  4. Jan 26, 2013 #4

    acresaway

    acresaway

    acresaway

    Member

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2013
    Messages:
    13
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    NJ
    thank you very much! That was a great article I will surely be using it as a guide!

    Dawn
     
  5. Jan 27, 2013 #5

    hobbyhorse23

    hobbyhorse23

    hobbyhorse23

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2004
    Messages:
    7,805
    Likes Received:
    34
    Location:
    Lakeport, CA
    Great post, Susanne! I'm glad you saved that as I didn't realize Minihorsecde.com had gone down. I pay over $100 a year to keep CDE4VSE.com up and running and really couldn't afford it this year, but it would be sad if all the online resources went away!

    Leia
     
    paintponylvr likes this.
  6. Jan 27, 2013 #6

    paintponylvr

    paintponylvr

    paintponylvr

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2009
    Messages:
    3,069
    Likes Received:
    1,294
    Location:
    Cameron, NC
    Hi Leia!

    I read your post and didn't want to "steal" from the OP. I tried to post a PM to you, but your mailbox is full (understand you are busy!):

    Would you consider selling advertising banners like both LB and ASPF (American Shetland Pony Forum - .com)? I just put up my banner for 1 year on ASPF and I'D LOVE to advertise on another forum - especially now that I'm pointing more of my ponies, some of which are also B minis, towards driving and CDE.

    Please consider it. Thanks!
     
  7. Jan 27, 2013 #7

    hobbyhorse23

    hobbyhorse23

    hobbyhorse23

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2004
    Messages:
    7,805
    Likes Received:
    34
    Location:
    Lakeport, CA
    Sorry, my PM box here has been full for years! You can email me at my forum name at gmail dot com. I don't have the least idea how to code banners into my website but we can talk about it. [​IMG]

    Leia
     

Share This Page



arrow_white